Lots of Little in the Garden – What Are They Up To?

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Little things are absolutely everywhere, so come with me for my macro therapy. I call this the little world in my backyard, and there is more to be seen than can ever be seen. Stuff has rarely been seen too.

I shoot macro when I need to slow down, relax and take a breather. I need to slow down and be aware of my surroundings. It really is like therapy. It teaches me something about what I am shooting and a bit of spirituality as well. I reflect on life and the way in which it lives in my small wilderness.

It is humbling. It is also an unwelcome feeling of dominion knowing I make a place for these creatures too. I look at it as sharing, but I also control and mold the environment as well.

Although I like to travel and see more of what the world offers, I still wonder what is happening on my small piece of this planet. In fact, as much as I like shooting wildlife and places requiring lots of travel, I have to say I find a lot of wonderful subjects right at home.

So What Does Happen When We Choose To Notice?

The fly above was blowing a water bubble that grew and grew. There are many theories on flies blowing bubbles that I found when researched, and I may do a post on it sometime. So to prove my point, nature in the small realm is really kinda cool.

This ant above and below was hauling a pill bug back to its nest and traveled over fifteen feet of concrete pavers in the hot sun. It got to the end and, with all its might, pulled the heavy load over the edging. I had to run in for the camera when I saw its long and harrowing travel.

Actually, the world is magical.

It is constantly offering so much to us and for so little in return.

Augochlora Sweat Bee

It is funny how we crave the proverbial “grass on the other side of the fence” yet whine when we have to cut it on our side.

Walt Whitman said,” To me, every hour of the light and dark is a miracle, every cubic inch of space a miracle.”

The grass lays a stage for the flowers to perform, so I see the grass as not the many evil things. Critters live in grass too. Most homeowners want to kill, but some we kill and wish we didn’t. Fireflies which we rarely see anymore can rest in the grass during the day. So it makes leaving it to grow longer a good thing environmentally.

I may have a few words on fireflies too. I miss them from when they were plentiful.

Observing the insects going about their business in my tiny urban Eden reminds me of another excellent thought.

“There is no delight in owning anything unshared.” The Seneca

I used my Nikon Micro-Nikkor 105mm f2.8 lens for these images and handheld the camera.

If you recognize the small parts of any of the plants, you know these insects are small. That is a single Viburnum berry above the tiny resting spider in the image below. In the next post, this tiny hunter gets a meal.

The tiny ant is looking for nectar in the unopened flower buds of Trumpet Vine. Next post, he enlists help from his small army.

Little Bee

The rose below is a carpet rose standard, and you all know how small each individual flower is on a carpet rose. The rose flower dwarfs the tiny Sweat Bee.

I recently learned a new way of thinking in the art of making a photograph. It has the element of looking closely at your subject and seeing it with fresh eyes.

Some kind of Bumblebee. I think only honeybees and bumblebees have pollen baskets.

Contemplative Photography is a method for seeing the world in fresh ways, revealing a richness and beauty normally hidden from view. One makes images based on new perceptions rather than preconceptions and rules.

“It is an expression of the purely visual nature of reality as it unfolds in front of us at the moment.” It sounds a bit new age and is much heavier than I can explain, but it has a lot to do with “mindfulness” and seeing in varied ways. 

I have been doing this type of Photography or at least trying without knowing it had a name. In my tab Garden Moments, I say, “A simple moment where you pause, stop and choose to remember. It is where you look at what is around you just a little differently, appreciate the simple, cherish the ordinary, praise the uncomplicated.”

Each little insect has its own beauty of form, not to mention the contradiction of what is pretty and that which is not.

Robber Fly, I think.

Note that this amounts to a hill of beans, but it helps build a purpose for what I choose to photograph anyway.

My purpose was to see the unseen. These insects are very small, much smaller than typical bees and flies. The wasp above is like a giant compared to the rest of our actors.

Hover Fly

Besides being tiny and hard to photograph, many of these insects are hard to identify as well. I am guessing on some, but I did read where many resemble another, and even the experts need more than a photo to make a positive ID.

Long-legged Fly
Golden Fly may be in the family Tachinidae

I get amazed by the small. Big trees, big mountains, big oceans, and the big sky make us feel small in a vast world.

Mydas Fly, I think.

Each insect has a purpose, and so does each flower.

As I said, there are so many insects, ones we don’t see because they are just so tiny. Others are big and beautiful; they all make up the world of magic that is a garden.

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